Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weekend in the Arctic (Iowa)

There is an airport scene in the movie “Up In the Air” with George Cloony where George points out how burdensome traveling with children can be. Let me tell you, he was RIGHT.  Fortunately, I had this little guy entertaining me.  While on planes, if I don't have any distractions I try pulling the escape hatches or get into arguments with flight attendants about proper seat belt usage.

This past weekend, I was visiting my wife’s family (and mine) in Northwest Iowa. While it was fun to be back, we were there because a family member found out that he has cancer and has months not years to live. Never a fun situation, made worse by other various circumstances. Fortunately, I was able to cash out what may be some of my last frequent flier points from my years of traveling resulting in a net cost of $20 for the entire trip. Hooray!

During the trip, I did lots of visiting, plenty of drinking, and far too little running:

Running:
Ah yes, running.  I remember running.  It seems like, for me, running is soooo February.  Based on my log, I had my lowest mileage week in over a year last week.  12 miles.  TWELVE.  As in the number of days before Christmas, apostles, or the minimum number of minutes that it takes me to poop.  I wish I had a good reason for the lack of miles like: The dingo ate my baby, or my legs were in cement because I didn't use bonafide union labor - but I don't.  Some of it was because of scheduling issues, but honestly I have the most to blame on giving my knee a rest and being too much of a wussy because of the cold:
I had planned on running 15 or so miles, but when I started out on my 18F degree run, I soon realized that I was WAY under dressed.  I was basically in the blue outfit above, with thin gloves and my running tights.  After about 1KM (you're welcome metric folks) my hands were burning and my face was numb. Turns out that all of the windmills in NW Iowa are there because the wind is a bitch.  Who knew!?

This week however, I'm going to log 40+ miles. 10% rule? 10% is for wussies.  Today I did 7 miles with 5 at tempo.  It felt like I hadn't ran in 5 days.  Oyy

Visiting:
A lot of the reason we went back to Iowa was to brag about the warm weather in Arizona........show off our son ............. see relatives that we haven't seen for far too long.  We chatted about the price of gas, the weather, the price of gas, how cold it was, and then what we thought the price of gas was GOING to do.  And I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

My grandpa, me, and my son
We took another one with my dad to round out the generations (on a different camera)


Drinking:
Finally, I started to notice about half way through the weekend that I was heavy on putting beer in my pie  hole, and light on putting anything else in my pie hole - except for pie.  I did eat that.  I seemed to take my drinking up the beer food chain (getting nicer and nicer), but I'll let you be the judge:

First I felt like I was in college.
Playing bridge, drinking a Keystone.

Then I classed it up a bit with a Sam Adams

But then, I got to try some of my dad's home brew - probably the best of the bunch

So, all said it was a good trip.  But I'm still bummed that I'm such a cold weather wuss now.  I knew that something was up when I started to dress in layers for temperatures in the 50s, but I didn't know how soft I had actually become!  Looks like I need to put a treadmill in a walk in freezer for training!

30 comments:

RunningLaur said...

10% rule? Who DOES that? [totally not me any 2 weeks in a row over the last 6 months... oops]

and, do I see 'beer pie' in the future?

Barefoot Neil Z said...

I'd kill for a run in the 50's. I'd be in shorts, a singlet and barefoot! Seriously. I have run in that outfit at 32 and felt great!

jess said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip, besides your family member with cancer. I am sorry, he/she is in my prayers!!!!

Home brewed beer is auh-maze-zing! Keystone Light, ugh nasty, makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.

The picture of you, your son and your grandfather is ADORABLE!

Nitmos said...

You played Bridge in college? Was that before or after Canasta? The only thing we used cards for was to dice up our coke.

Kidding, mom, kidding. (She's a big follower of yours.)

Runners Fuel said...

Sorry to hear about your friend, but it sounds like a good trip!

Nej said...

Nothing like a trip to Iowa in the winter...that wind is a buzz kill, isn't it? It never leaves, but in the winter, it's brutal. :-)

Cribbage and Keystone....does it get any better than that? :-)

That top picture is adorable!!!!

Kate said...

Your son is just precious.

I laughed at the running tweet, and I'll be laughing again when you're tweeting about 112* days (I hope). You, in turn, can laugh when our humidity is as high as our temperatures.

Really, you know it's all what you're used to, and for all his big talk NeilZ would melt into a puddle as soon as he stepped off the plane in Phoenix. :)

Matt said...

If Iowa is the Arctic, I'd hate to hear your opinion on Minnesota.

danny said...

I'd take another week or two off and then see how fast you can go from 0-60 (as a baseline one second corresponds to one week).

Kovas said...

Ah yes, the 50's, warm weather, shorts and a tshirt, unless you live in AZ I guess.

destinationathlete said...

If you ever come to WI then you can practice some cold weather running. :)

JessiePants said...

You little man is just the cutest!
It's amazing how our bodies get used to the environment we are in and "cold" can seem soooo different based on what we are accustomed to.
Glad you made fun of yourself because I was going to give you crap on the Keystone : )

funderson said...

Your gramps rules! What a great picture.

kilax said...

Adam, I am so sorry your family member has cancer. I am happy you were able to go home to see them.

misszippy said...

So sorry about your relative. So great that you went to see him.

Your little guy is THE cutest! I remember those traveling days...

Drinking beer is what one does in the Midwest, so you were just returning to roots.

Suza said...

We want more pics of your cutie kid!!

haha, that freezer-treadmill idea isn't a bad one!

Andrew Opala said...

Visiting the sick is one of the corporal works of mercy. You might get a "get outta jail free card" for the "lefty the stranger" thing.

God's pretty good that way - lot's of mercy and patience.

Kayla said...

NW Iowa is the worst for wind in the winter!! I went to undergrad there and it wasn't uncommon for my legs to go numb while walking to class!

Average A said...

Sorry to hear about your relative; otherwise your trip sounds just about as perfectly Midwestern as it can get!

GeorgiaSnail said...

sounds like you had a built in "recovery" week....nothing wrong with that. Sorry to hear about the circumstances of your trip....

Emily said...

your son looks so happy on the plane!

iowa sounds a lot like vermotn in the winter. now maybe you know why i moved

Al's CL Reviews said...

Why you visited Iowa sucks. Sorry.

I have to say 50 degrees is shorts and a SS shirt for a long run, and light pants and a SS-shirt for a short one.

Nicole said...

I'm a cold weather weenie. I seriously will not run outside if it's below 50. The baby photos are adorable.
So sorry to hear about your family member.

Laura said...

I'd try the home brew, the other two I wouldn't touch even if it meant not drinking, believe it or not :)

Jess said...

Sorry to hear of the reason for traveling, but it still sounds like it was a good trip.

Spike said...

Had to bail early because it was cold...you are soft.

Angie Bee said...

Your baby is so cute :) Yeah its too cold here. It frakin snowed last night. Its pretty much melted already but jeesh.

Jeri said...

hmmmm northwest IA is practically SE south dakota. Have we already had the discussion as to where your family is? My hometown is approx. 17 miles from the IA border.

Her Name Is Rio said...

Sorry to hear about your family member, but it's so great you guys were able to brave the cold weather in IA and visit! Sounds like a solid, good trip.

XLMIC said...

So sorry about your family member :( That is always hard.

Traveling with kids is so fun. I just love how all the other people look at you with delight as you board the plane with your children. How the flight attendants rush right over and make such an effort to help. Wait... that's my fantasy! We did a lot of traveling with our first two kids... not so much to include the third... and next to none with the fourth.